At the beginning of the 12th century, just opposite where the market stands today, on a spot that back then was outside the city walls, farmers and traders were already setting up itinerant stalls and selling their produce to passers-by entering or leaving the city at this point. Eight centuries later, the Boqueria is still one of Barcelona's vital organs and has become famous around the world.
The new market is born
As the city grew and the Rambla became more important as a thoroughfare, the itinerant stalls gradually moved backwards and towards the west until they arrived at the foot of the Convent of Sant Josep (which has since disappeared and is the origin of the market's name). Groups of rioters set fire to it in 1835, on St James' Night, which became known for the Burning of the Convents. The land it had stood on then became the property of the City Council. There the square with the porch was built that can still be seen today, and the market was finally moved indoors, even though today's building still did not exist. The municipal architect Josep Mas was given the job of designing a tall, modern building made with cast iron to house the stalls. The Boqueria was officially opened in 1840 and the roof was finished in 1916.
The Boqueria has become a place to savour with all five senses: walking among the stalls and curious visitors, while enjoying the colours and the aromas it offers, is a real pleasure. These days there are over 300 stalls, where all kinds of products are sold from Catalonia and around the world.
You can find everything at the market: fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat, preserves, pulses, cheese and so on. There is local produce and imported food, Catalan specialities as well as world cuisine, both traditional and contemporary. Cultural and gastronomic activities are held there, including courses, workshops, tasting sessions and meetings.
In 2005, the Boqueria was rewarded with the Best Market of the Year Award at the sixth International Public Markets Conference, held in Washington.